Three greenways for hiking in La Rioja
The lands of La Rioja are, due to their orography, ideal for hiking. Although there are many routes that can be done, in this article we will highlight three greenways (enabled for disabled access) that connect various points of the Autonomous Community.
Greenways are, by definition, paths that are used for walking or cycling and where motorised vehicles are not allowed to enter. They usually run parallel to rivers and almost always follow old railway lines that are no longer in use.
Ready to get to know them?
1. VÍA VERDE DEL OJA: from Ezcaray to Casalarreina
This path follows an old railway track of 28 kilometres divided into two stages: from Casalarreina to Santo Domingo de la Calzada and from Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Ezcaray. This greenway follows the old railway line designed at the end of the 19th century, which was closed due to lack of use in 1964. The first stage, almost 15 kilometres long, crosses a wide plain with an agricultural landscape occupied by cereal and irrigated crops. Beneath its surface is the so-called Oja aquifer, which supplies the fields in the area. The path is straight and well-defined and the journey time is approximately 3.5 hours. The second section of the greenway, which connects Santo Domingo de la Calzada and Ezcaray, is a transition zone between the plain of the river Oja and the foot of the Sierra de la Demanda, characterised by a more forested landscape. The distance that has been saved is 13.5 kilometres and runs along one of the limits of the Natura 2000 Network area "Sierras de Demanda, Urbión, Cebollera and Cameros".
2. CIDACOS GREENWAY: from Calahorra to Arnedillo
Like the Oja greenway, the Cidacos greenway is linked to an old narrow-gauge railway line that was built in the 1920s to provide an outlet for the valley's mining, industrial and agricultural products. In 1966 it was closed and thirty years later it was recovered as a greenway. This route is made up of two stages, the one that links Calahorra with Arnedo and the one that connects Arnedo with Arnedillo. The first, almost 21 kilometres long, runs through the orchards of the Cidacos river, while the second section, 14 kilometres long, has a rougher landscape, passing through the rugged relief of the Peñas de Arnedillo and the river cliffs of Santa Eulalia.
3. PRÉJANO GREENWAY: from Arnedillo to Préjano
Finally, the Préjano greenway is a short route (4.6 kilometres approximately) considered a "daughter" of the Cidacos greenway that runs along an old mining railway, a branch of the one that ran from Calahorra to Arnedillo. Along this path you can discover the spectacular panorama of almond trees in spring in the valley and the rugged landscapes of the sierra. As a curiosity, the Préjano greenway allows you to take a trip back in time, as here you can see ichnites, fossilised dinosaur footprints.
Very close to these places we have Vivanco, with its vineyards, winery, museum... Together with the greenways, it will make our getaway a very complete plan. Are you up for it?
Wineries Vivanco in Briones, La Rioja
Images of the Oja Greenway. Author: La Rioja Turismo